4i2 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. presenting Persia with the boon of a so-called regular army, in. order to reclaim her from her unlawful loves with France, we clothed her in the robe of Nessus."1 The Erivan Campaign^ 1804.—The annexation of Georgia by Russia deeply affected the prestige of Persia, that country having long been her tributary, but actual hostilities between Russia and Persia did not break out until General Sisianoff, apparently without a formal declara- tion of war, marched on Erivan, which he had reason to believe would be handed over to him by its treacherous governor. The first battle, fought in the neighbourhood of Echmiadzin, the residence of the Armenian patriarch, was indecisive. Not long afterwards the Persian camp was surprised and the army of the heir-apparent fled. After this victory Erivan was besieged, and its governor, who had refused to hand over the fortress, opened fresh negotiations. Fath AH Shah himself now appeared in the theatre of operations with strong reinforcements. Engagements followed with indecisive results, but by preventing munitions and supplies from reaching the Russian camp, the Shah forced General Sisianoff to retire from the siege of Erivan, harassed by the light Persian cavalry. The Russian Descent on Gilan.—The next important operation was a Russian descent on Resht. As travellers to Teheran know, its seaport is Enzeli, behind which lies a shallow lagoon some twelve miles across, navigable only by small boats. After this body of water has been traversed a narrow river is entered, up which boats are towed to Pir-i-Bazar, distant some three or four miles from the capital of Gilan. The Russian general, unable to transport his guns by boats, of which only a small number were forthcoming, attempted to march round the lagoon. But the marshy nature of the soil and the attacks of the inhabitants were obstacles too formidable to be faced, and the order was given to retire on Enzeli. The expedition then sailed to Baku and bombarded it. The Governor was invited to 1 In the recent struggles the Persian regular army has played no part whatever. It 13 now being disbanded.